I Hate Kates

December 16, 2011
Custom User Avatar
More by this author
FADE IN:
EXT. PEARL HARBOR – AIRCRAFT HANGAR AT FORD ISLAND NAS -0700
PAUL climbs down from under the cylinders of an engine on a PBY CATALINA aircraft, wrench in hand. Streaks of grease run down his face. He is mumbling to himself.
DON
Will she fly, Paul?

PAUL
Not sure. Cylinders two and seven are still losing compression occasionally. I’m working overtime just to get her in the air for a run next week.

DON
Ah. So, that’s your reason for working early on a Sunday?

PAUL
(pointing the wrench in DON’S direction) This thing’s gotta get back up in the air. You think I want our superiors singling out my hangar?

DON
Good point. Makes a better excuse for workin’ Sundays, anyhow. Need a hand?

PAUL wipes the grease off the wrench with a rag from his pocket.

PAUL
Later I will. My stomach’s been grumbling for twenty minutes now. Hungry?

DON
I ate before coming down here. But not too many of the guys are up yet. I’d be happy to keep ya company.

PAUL



(walking towards a lunch box atop a work

bench) Yea, sure. I brought an extra Pepsi if ya

want it.

DON takes the PEPSI BOTTLE, and pops the cap with the opener attached to the bench.

DON
Thanks. Nice morning, huh? Calm. No drill, no nothing. Did ya hear about the 17’s coming in from San Rafael this morning? Hamilton Field?

PAUL
(taking a drink from the bottle)
Yeah. They told ground crews to be ready to bring ‘em in around 0730. Twelve of ‘em, I’ve heard. At least that’s what Douglas said. He’s with ground crew. You know him, right?
DON eyes wander as if in deep thought. He takes a drink.
DON



Yeah, I know him. (he looks over to the

hangar door) Listen, Paul, I came here to tell

ya something. I want your take on it.

PAUL
What’s that? Everything alright?

DON
For now, I hope. I’m real worried, though. And tired. I ain’t slept right in a week.

PAUL
A week? What’s under your skin? You get in too deep on leave?

DON
(chuckling) Nah, everything’s fine in Honolulu, as usual. What’s got me worried is something I heard from Will.

PAUL



Your buddy down at District Headquarters?

DON
One and the same. We were drinking on leave last week, and I think he may have let something slip…

PAUL



Oh yeah?
DON
Yeah. He said they received an urgent message on the Wednesday before last. The 27th. Some sort of “war warning” from Washington.

PAUL sets his PEPSI BOTTLE on the work bench, and wipes his forehead with his hand.

PAUL
(with a confused look)
Just what does he mean by a “war warning”? They just send out telegrams ahead of time now?

DON
Not hardly. Long story short, Washington wants Admiral Kimmel and General Short to know they think the Japanese have it out for America’s possessions in the Pacific, and might be planning an attack. Heck, they even reported it was likely!

PAUL



No kidding? Was he drunk?

DON
I’ve seen Will drunk, Paul. He wasn’t drunk. Buzzed, possibly. But he hadn’t fallen off the barstool. Or even gone off the deep end, for that matter. And it gets better!

PAUL



(clearly surprised) You don’t say…

DON
I didn’t, but he did. He said HQ intercepted a message over two months ago. When was it? The twelfth? No. Dangit… Ah! That’s it! The twenty-fourth. The twenty-fourth of September.

PAUL
September? What was it? A post card from
sunny Tokyo?



DON
(chuckles) Almost. It WAS from Tokyo… addressed to Japan’s Consul General in Honolulu. Supposedly from Japanese Naval Intelligence. He said the guys who deciphered it were calling it the “Bomb Plot” message. Will told me he didn’t know as much about that ‘un as the other, but said he thought it contained the coordinates of our ships.

PAUL



Were Kimmel and Short told?

DON
This is where it gets foggy. And he stops making sense. According to him, it didn’t go beyond decoding. High command doesn’t even know. Evidently, someone decided it wasn’t worth the time.

PAUL and DON begin to walk towards the CATALINA.


PAUL
Uh-huh. I have a feeling Will might have been enjoying his leave more than you think, Don.

Both laugh as PAUL begins to ascend the ladder again.

DON
It’s possible, I guess. It seems a bit fishy, that’s all. It seems like the war creeps a little closer to us every day. I mean, you’ve got half the world wrapped up in some maelstrom, at each other’s necks, right? And the world’s greatest superpower keeps away? Not real likely, if you ask me. It’s doubtful we’ll stay out of this thing for long. Those lousy Japanese’ll go for anything… and I don’t trust ‘em any further than I can throw ‘em, Paul.

PAUL



And no one blames you there, Don.

A LOW, RUMBLING ROAR is heard outside of the hangar, and DON walks outside of the hangar.
PAUL



(looking down to DON) Those Boeings coming

in?

DON
(looking over his shoulder to PAUL)
Uhhhhhh… Paul, I don’t think so. There’s twelve coming in?
PAUL
Yeah, that’s right. Why?

DON
These aren’t ours, Paul. It’s too early. Come get a look at this…

PAUL rushes down the ladder, stands next to Paul, and shields his eyes against the intense rays of the sunrise. He is met with an obscured view of a wave of Japanese Mitsubishi Zeroes and Nakajima BN5 “Kate” torpedo bombers.

PAUL
Dear Lord…

FADE OUT:





Post a Comment

Be the first to comment on this article!

bRealTime banner ad on the left side
Site Feedback